Eoin Cody celebrates scoring Kilkenny's opening goal. Pic: Piaras O'Midheach/Sportsfile
Kilkenny are into another Leinster Final after they negotiated their way past a gallant Wexford side in an end to end classic that went all the way to extra-time in Croke Park this evening.
Brian Cody's side showed extreme buckets of character to claim victory after looking defeated on a number of occasions.
Wexford were originally in command when substitute David Dunne goaled in the second half to give his side a 1-21 to 0-23 advantage but Eoin Cody responded in kind in the 68th minute and the Shamrocks star looked like he had won the game for the Cats.
Wexford hit the last three points in normal time though including a long range effort from Liam Ryan that required the intervention of hawk eye after it appeared that Eoin Murphy batted the sliotar down for Conor McDonald to finish to the net but thankfully for Kilkenny supporters the ball had already gone over the bar and tied at 1-27 apiece the game went to an extra twenty minutes.
The drama continued apace in the added on minutes and within sixty seconds of the restart Wexford had their second goal when Mark Fanning converted a penalty after Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy was given a sin bin for taking out Connal Flood on the edge of the square.
Wexford weren't really able to build on having an extra man though and with only a point seperating the teams in half-time of extra-time, Kilkenny found an extra gear in the final ten minutes with their superior strength in depth showing.
Seven of the Kilkenny subs got on the scoresheet including Walter Walsh whose batted 85th minute goal eventually settled the game mere minutes after Eoin Murphy saved from Rory O'Connor when there was only two points in it.
Kilkenny rather unjustly ended up winning by eight points and can now look forward to a July 17 Leinster Final meeting with Dublin.
Scorers: Kilkenny- TJ Reid (0-16, 0-11fs, 0-2 65's); Eoin Cody (1-6); Walter Walsh (1-1); Richie Reid, James Bergin and James Maher (0-2 each); Eoin Murphy (0-1, 0-1f); Michael Carey, Martin Keoghan, Tommy Walsh, Conor Fogarty, John Donnelly, Alan Murphy and Billy Ryan (0-1 each).
Wexford- Lee Chin (0-14, 0-13fs), Mark Fanning (1-1, 0-1f), David Dunne (1-0), Rory O'Connor (0-3), Conor McDonald, Shaun Murphy and Liam Og McGovern (0-2 each), Paul Morris (0-1, 0-1f), Liam Ryan, Matthew O'Hanlon, Diarmuid O'Keefe and Jack O'Connor (0-1 each).
Teams: Kilkenny- Eoin Murphy; Tommy Walsh, Huw Lawlor, Paddy Deegan; Darragh Corcoran, Padraig Walsh, Conor Browne; Richie Reid, Richie Leahy; Adrian Mullen, Martin Keoghan, Alan Murphy; Eoin Cody, TJ Reid, Billy Ryan. Subs: James Maher for Corcoran h-t, Conor Fogarty for Leahy h-t, John Donnelly for Ryan 44 mins, Walter Walsh for R.Reid 52 mins, James Bergin for A.Murphy 63 mins, Michael Carey for Fogarty 72 mins, Cillian Buckley for Browne 72 mins, Darren Brennan for Bergin 73 mins, James Bergin for Brennan 80 mins, Billy Ryan for Keoghan 80 mins.
Wexford- Mark Fanning; Shane Reck, Liam Ryan, Simon Donohoe; Gavin Bailey, Matthew O'Hanlon, Shaun Murphy; Diarmuid O'Keefe, Liam Og McGovern; Paul Morris, Lee Chin, Conor McDonald; Mikie Dwyer, Rory O'Connor, Kevin Foley. Subs: Jack O'Connor for Morris 44 mins, David Dunne for Dwyer 59 mins, Connal Flood for O'Keefe 70 mins, Conor Firman for Murphy 72 mins, Diarmuid O'Keefe for McGovern 76 mins, Sean Murphy for Bailey 80 mins, Cathal Dunbar for Chin 86 mins, Conor Hearne for O'Keefe 88 mins.
Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)
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